As a designer I’m often ask how to get the biggest impact with the littlest effort.
My answer is surprisingly simple!
Consider simple fixes for the seasons:
Combining unexpected colors and textures can help to invigorate any space. Try using vibrant pops of color in rooms with subtle, thoughtful designs to create truly dramatic living spaces. Keeping backgrounds neutral will allow you to explore all of the trends of the seasons without breaking the bank.
Don’t forget the fresh green. It’s the perfect time of year to bring the outdoors inside. Beautifully planted window boxes outside key windows not only add the vibrant pops of color we hunger for this time of year, but they also make it very easy to clip those beautiful blooms and bring them indoors. I love to keep a little vase of fresh flowers on the counter in my dressing area. It’s always a great little treat to start my day on the right foot. Just a couple of these simple suggestions can bring a new life to your home season after season.
If you just love terrific tips that are easy to implement - here are seven super ideas for organizing your electronics:
1. TOILET PAPER ROLLS - it seems a little crazy at first, but saving your toilet paper rolls and then tucking your chords inside them is a recycling idea of the highest caliber. Stand them up inside an area of a drawer so they fit nicely and don't move around - then stuff a chord inside each one.
2. PLASTIC BREAD TIES - Save the plastic bread tie closures from your bread loaves, use a sharpie marker to label with the devices you own, then slide over the chord near where you plug it in and you'll have an easy identifier. Much easier than using tape and writing on that.
3. ZIPLOC BAGS - I love using ziploc bags for storing things. And my favorite part? They are clear so you can easily, quickly see what's stored inside them. No having to count on your memory about what you put in each one. Wonderfully effecient.
4. STACKABLE PAPER TRAYS - Available at any office supply store - repurpose the paper trays to stack your electronics and small items. The storage is shallow which makes it perfect for small items like cell phones, digital cameras and keys.
5. FOAM PIPE INSULATION - Sold at home improvement stores, you can cut different lengths and then stuff your chords inside. Easy in, easy out and protective. You could put labels on the outside and color with some markers for easier identification.
6. BINDER CLIPS - get some larger ones, attach one end onto your desk top or other counter top and then use the silver clippy handle part to slide your electronics through and keep easily accessible.
7.SILVERWARE DIVIDERS - found at places like The Container Store or Bed, Bath and Beyond and available in many different styles, from wicker to metal to plastic, these pre-organized organizers are great, simple solutions that can be matched to your decor and kept visible, or stashedi inside a drawer or cabinet.
So which one is your favorite? Or what secret closet organizer tips do you have for keeping life easier to manage?
Downsizing can have all kinds of interpretations, but for Closet Works clients Sue and Marty, it means the very exciting "re-allocation of space" from their big, suburban house to a condo on the north shore of Chicago.
And re-allocating space usually means organizing to the max.
Using every inch possible to allow for storing and hiding as many personal items as possible.
So that was designer Tim Higbee's "assignment" when he met with Sue and Marty and their interior designer, Deb Reinhart
They didn't want to overwhelm the bedroom space with too much furniture so they created a wall surround for the bed that really makes wonderfully effecient use of the wall space and floor space on the sides.
There are lots of drawers, easy access to the night stands and gorgeous marble tops,which Tim highlights in the video.
In addition, lighting for easy night time reading that was discovered by the client during an online search, and it's lighting we really think makes the entire project look even better. It telescopes out when you need it or folds flat, (as shown in photo) when you don't.
Also incorporated into this design was the headboard, lighting and stone tops. The clients are more than 100% satisfied - which makes us all sleep better every night!
A Walk-In closet space is fun for any closet designer to design. It's also fun for any client to have as a place to call "home" for their wardrobe.
And when the space is square or rectangle with a standard eight or nine foot ceiling and few or no obstacles - all the better.
But angles make things more complicated because angles typically equal more difficult accessibility.
Think about the attic in your grandparents home. You know, the one you used to love to sneak up to and play hide and seek in? They probably had lots of boxes shoved in to the corners that you could hide behind. Which is fun.
But having to access items on a daily basis in a location like that can be "back-aching" and frustrating. You wouldn't want to have to go looking for wardrobe favorites on a daily basis that were stored like that.
So what to do if you have a closet space that has angled ceilings?
Closet Works designer Zena Hallman created a great solution for a Chicago area client by properly designing shelves and hanging into the space while allowing proper access. She used her excellent space planning skills and years of experience to really maximize the space for her client. And she'd be happy to do the same for yours!
It's common for people to work from both their work office and their home office.....and just about anywhere else they can get a cup of coffee and an internet connection.
And with more and more homes being equipped with space to allow at least one person to work, we thought we'd share some insights on home office space.
It's space that needs to be effectively designed and effeciently utilized. Doing a great job at your job is more than just making sure your files are organized. There are proven psychological benefits that lead to productivity increases when your work space works for you.
So if you'll allow us the privilege of working with you on your work space - we promise you'll get more done and be all the happier for it.
It takes a great deal of thought to figure out what your work pattern is and how things can flow, as well as what options you have for making that work. Our team has lots of experience helping people make those kinds of decisions, and we'd love to help you too!
At Closet Works, we've got a commitment to quality and customer experience that runs deep.
We take our design work seriously, our installations methodically and our client relationships with a smile and "can do" attitude.
And in recent weeks, we've received some industry recognition that supports our efforts and commitment.
The Association of Closet and Storage Profesionals (ACSP) recently initiated a certification program to recognize designers in our industry who have years of experience designing custom storage solutions. And we had two team members receive their first level certification. Designer Teri Magee and president Mike Carson are now officially "Registered Storage Designers". We're so proud!
We're also rather proud of our awards from The Better Business Bureau and Angie's List.
We've had "zero" complaints on one end and "super star service" on the other. What that means for our clients is that you're covered from beginning to end and beyond. Basically, for the life of your closet system. Nothing like peace of mind to go along with your newly organized life.
And there's even more!
Closet Works designers Tim Higbee, Sue Tinker and Lynn Casanova won the equivalent of our industries' Oscar's by bringing home Top Shelf Design Awards for projects they designed for clients in the past year.
The picture to the left is for a first place win by Sue Tinker of a "Dream Closet" that Sue, herself, said she wouldn't mind calling home.
Tim Higbee created an effective workspace in a clients condo that not only utilized space effectively and beautifully, but allowed for space for the clients bobble head collection (see - we cover all the bases!).
And designer Lynn Casanova created maximum storage in a basement that had lots of difficult design parameters and client demands in order to make it all work well together.
It's not only the inside of your closets that need to be organized.
It creates tremendous peace of mind to look around your space and NOT see messy spaces - to not see piles of paper or "to do" lists or post it notes.
And sometimes a trip to an organizing mecca like The Container Store or Office Max can yield tremendous benefits.
Benefits that add to the wonderfulness of your custom closets. Heck, at Closet Works , we don't just love organization inside a closet - we love organization anywhere we can find it!
What about you? Do you have some personal tricks or devices you use to keep yourself organized and on track? We'd love to hear about them!
At least that's what we're hoping to repeat again this year.
Three members of our stellar design team have been named as finalists in the closet industry "Top Shelf" design competition.
This first project was submitted by Lynn Casanova. The storge solution was built in to a 125 year old Chicago home in desperate need of storage. The basement is U-shaped with the larger space for TV and guests and the smaller portion for a bedroom and powder room. The biggest issue is that the powder room is located with the bedroom area. The issue then is that the bedroom can not be separated from the TV room by doors because if were, a guest would have to go through a bedroom to get to the bathroom.
The solution is to leave the space as an open area and keep everything behind closed doors. The space needed to store TV equipment like receivers and routers, as well as clothes for the son. Also the client is a cycle enthusiast. Storage for extra bicycle wheels, helmets, cycling suits all needed to be accommodated in the space and hidden from the TV area.
Our second finalist, Tim Higbee, designed a space in a Chicago high rise apartment offers very little storage space. In this instance the client needed a home office that could also accommodate storage for linens and pantry items as well as office equipment, space for an extensive record album collection, and his prized bobble head collection.
The space available was a hallway leading from the living room to the bedroom; one side being floor to ceiling windows with a view of the magnificent Chicago skyline, the other side with angled walls that was a five sided bay. The need for an unobstructed circulation path dictated that the work surface would need to be a peninsula. The client's modern aesthetic directed us to the use of Wenge as a finish, solid and glass insert doors, and a contrasting solid surface for the work surface.
The single brushed chrome leg allowed us to continue an open feeling on what could have been a heavy, overpowering system. The result is a rich, modern, multifunctional space that does not inhibit the intended architectural design or flow of the apartment, and compliments the design elements in the adjoining rooms, while capitalizing on the large windows, creating a workspace environment appropriate for a Chicago high rise.
Our third finalist, Sue Tinker, shares that "this space was unfinished above a 4 car garage. The ceilings are all angled and there are built-ins under each of the 3 window alcoves. The focal point is a large island with a beautiful chandelier and a small desk are at one end. The hanging was left open except for 3 way mirror doors that cover up the shoe shelves. The materials are laminate with solid wood front doors and drawers. I don't usually envy the closets I design, but I think I could be happy with this awesome space!"
There are a million and one different ways to get life organized. And closets are a great place to start.
One item that works really well for people of all shapes and sizes (particularly those of us who are vertically challenged) is this clear basket that has a handle. It's easy to grab, easy to see through, it's venitlated for breathability and can be added to any custom organization system.
We also offer a variety of other baskets that can be installed within your system that help keep things in order. What most people like about baskets is the ability to see through them, so whether it's several bags of chips and crackers all smooshed together or your workout clothing all tossed in a basket,, baskets allow you to see what's at the top and the bottom and even what's in between so you can grab it and go.
As design consultants, we work closely with our clients to do our best to make sure their custom closets work for them in the best possible way.
So when design consultant Lynn Casanova met with this client, there was lots to strategize about as she wanted to be sure absolutely everything in her wardrobe had a home.
The client wanted purses organized so she could grab and change them out easily, she wanted to be able to see her shoes and have an appropriate place for her boots.
Divders for sweaters and shirts was important, as was the location and amount of hanging.
So together the designer and the client worked through the revisions and the math as well as the aesthetic to create a custom storage solutions that qualifies as a "dream closet" for this happy client.